Sweat Questions and Answers
by Zora Neale Hurston

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Is Delia a meek or strong character? Why or why not?  

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Tyler Larue eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It seems that Delia, a “habitually meek” character, as is stated in the story, has endured years of domestic abuse from her husband, Sykes. She works tirelessly to take care of the family, with little, if any, input from him, and instead of being appreciative of her efforts, he beats and bullies her without end.

The story starts on a Sunday night, with Delia, busy, preparing for the hectic work week ahead. She works as a wash woman and is sorting out her load of clothes according to their colors. When Sykes comes into the picture, we see a bully, who continually torments and harasses his wife: First, he throws a whip at her to scare her, then he tramples Delia’s load of clothes while making horrifying threats at her. However, for the first time, Delia stands up for herself. The text states that “her habitual meekness seemed to slip from her...

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Aliyah Quitzon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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